Pocahontas BOE Votes to Amend Wendell Agreement to Air Condition 3 Schools

At the August 16th BOE meeting, Andy Cocina of Wendell reported that because of a relaxation of the federal grant rules, they can now skip adding a dedicated outdoor air ventilation system on each of the air conditioning systems they want to install. By subtracting the costs of installing those ventilation systems and the extra duct work they require, Cocina said there should now be enough money available to install new AC systems at three schools -Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, Marlinton Middle School and Marlinton Elementary School. Cocina explained that fresh outdoor air is still introduced into normal air conditioning systems even without those expensive dedicated outdoor air ventilation systems.

With the exception of Sam Gibson, who wanted more information about this, the other board members saw this as a “gift” to move forward with providing AC to three schools and voted to amend their project development agreement with Wendell, eliminating those dedicated outdoor air ventilation systems so as to enable them to provide AC to those three schools.

During the Superintendent’s Report, Terrence Beam said they still have teaching vacancies. Beam also congratulated Nurse Friel for being named the WV School Nurse of the Year.

Dr. Pamela Schield of Community Care, who is their new Laison with the BOE, said last year Community Care’s School-Based Health Centers, located at 4 of the five county schools, provided health services for 1,125 student visits.

Eryn Neyer talked about the West Virginia Family Nutrition Program’s services to the schools.  The board approved a memorandum of understanding with that program to provide nutrition and physical activity programs to the schools for the upcoming school year.

Ron Hall and Julie Shiflet described the procedures used to deal with unexcused school absences. They said that if a student is absent, the parents have up to five days to send in a written excuse before it becomes an unexcused absence. After 3 unexcused absences, a letter is sent to the parents and phone calls may be made. After a student acquires 5 unexcused absences, the Attendance Office sends the parents a letter setting up a meeting with the parents. After 9, the Attendance Office personnel will visit the home to determine the problem, and after the 10th absence, the parents may be referred to the Magistrate Court for criminal proceedings.

The board approved including new CDC guidelines for COVID isolation and quarantine procedures into their re-entry plan.

Also at the meeting, the board:

  • Approved routine financial reports.
  • Entered into a contract with Jeff Wayne as a Water Operator on an as-needed basis at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School at $50.00 per hour.
  • Approved a WV Pre-K agreement with School Days Child Care, although it was pointed out that this agreement will be null and void unless 12 Pre-K students enroll there by September 1st, and there are only 4 signed up right now. If that happens, a new and less costly agreement may be drawn-up.
  • Approved a memorandum of understanding with the North-Central WV Community Action Association regarding the Head Start Program.
  • Approved a revised Acceptable Use Policy
  • Approved three overnight travel requests for Nature’s Mountain Classroom Pocahontas Explorers.
  • Approved the recommended personnel action list.

The members conducted a Matters of the Board discussion to conclude the meeting.


Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

Current Weather